After a long prison sentence Smiler Grogan is heading at high speed to a California park where he hid $350,000 from a job 15 years previously. He accidentally careens over a cliff in view of four cars whose occupants go down to help. The dying Grogan gives details of where the money is buried and when the witnesses fail to agree on sharing the cash, a crazy chase develops across the state.
After a long prison sentence Smiler Grogan is heading at high speed to a California park where he hid $350,000 from a job 15 years previously.
For his final film, Jacques Tati takes his camera to the circus, where the director himself serves as master of ceremonies. Though it features many spectacles, including clowns, jugglers, acrobats, contortionists, and more, Parade also focuses on the spectators, making this stripped-down work a testament to the communion between audience and entertainment. Created for Swedish television (with Ingmar Bergman’s legendary director of photography Gunnar Fischer serving as one of its cinematographers), Parade is a touching career send-off that recalls its maker’s origins as a mime and theater performer.
In Jacques Tati’s Trafic, the bumbling Monsieur Hulot, kitted out as always with tan raincoat, beaten brown hat, and umbrella, takes to Paris’s highways and byways. In this, his final outing, Hulot is employed as an auto company’s director of design, and accompanies his new product (a “camping car” outfitted with absurd gadgetry) to an auto show in Amsterdam. Naturally, the road there is paved with modern-age mishaps. This late-career delight is a masterful demonstration of the comic genius’s expert timing and sidesplitting knack for visual gags, and a bemused last look at technology run amok.
Jacques Tati's career, which stretched from the midthirties to the late seventies, encompasses more than just the six features for which he's best known. The charming short films he wrote or directed are essential parts of his filmography as well. Collected here, they include three wacky 1930s comedies he wrote and starred in—On demande une brute (1934), Gai dimanche (1935), and Soigne ton gauche (1936)—and two later films he directed and starred in: L'éole des facteurs (1946), which introduces the postman character reprised in Jour de fête, and Cours du soir (1967), made during the filming of PlayTime. We're also pleased to present Dégustation maison (1977), a César-winning short by Tati's daughter Sophie Tatischeff, shot in the town from Jour de fête, and Forza Bastia (1978), a soccer documentary begun by Tati and completed by Tatischeff after his death.